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Canadiens erase three-goal deficit, defeat Canucks

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- David Desharnais scored 3:25 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens overcame a three-goal deficit for a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Bell Centre on Monday.

Desharnais one-timed a pass from Subban past Jacob Markstrom to end the Canadiens' two-game losing streak (0-1-1).

"I enjoy playing hockey," Subban said. "It's fun to play the game, whether it's 3-on-3 or 4-on-4, you know in that moment you have an opportunity to take that one shot, one bounce to win it. You want to be on the right side of it. I like 3-on-3 when we win."

Desharnais agreed after the Canadiens evened their overtime record at 1-1. "It depends on the game, but when it finishes in our favor, yeah, I like it."

"It's puck possession," he added. "But even when you have possession of the puck in the offensive zone, you make some plays, you get tired and the other team is going the other way on a 2-on-1. It's really the little details that count at 3-on-3."

The Canucks fell to 0-6 in overtime this season.

"There's [no margin for error]. It's crazy, it doesn't feel like hockey," said Canucks forward Chris Higgins, whose shot over the Canadiens' net created an odd-man rush that led to Desharnais' goal. "It feels like summertime. I personally don't like it, but chances definitely come out of nothing."

Canucks coach Willie Desjardins was disappointed with the result.

"It just seems that we're getting caught," Desjardins said. "We had a great chance, we missed the net, and it went around the other way, they got a 3-on-2 out of it. We score on that other one, we're all happy, but we didn't so we're certainly disappointed again."

Tomas Fleischmann, who assisted on Desharnais' goal, scored with 3:08 left in the third period. Fleischmann put a wrist shot past Markstrom into the top left corner to tie the game at 3-3.

Adam Cracknell and Jared McCann scored in the first period for Vancouver, and Daniel Sedin increased the lead to 3-0 with the Canucks' second power-play goal at 3:17 of the second.

Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty scored goals 2:13 apart midway through the second period to draw the Canadiens within 3-2.

Mike Condon made 23 saves in his eighth straight start for Montreal (14-3-2).

"We felt pretty confident about our game tonight," said Fleischmann, who played his 600th game. "The last two periods I would say we were pretty hard-working against them and we had a lot of shots. We were thinking we might score earlier, but it came with three minutes left in the game. Good thing it happened."

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Eller's shorthanded goal at 8:40 of the second gave his team life.

"To me this was a character win," Therrien said. "It's rare you can come back from a three-goal deficit, and the players were able to make that comeback happen."

Markstrom made 32 saves for Vancouver (7-6-6), which has one win it its past seven games. The Canucks are 1-3-2 on a seven-game road trip that concludes Thursday at the Winnipeg Jets.

Cracknell gave Vancouver the early lead with his third goal at 1:26. It was the fourth straight game Montreal has allowed the first goal within the first 3:26.

"It's strange because all the games before that, the ones that I played at least, we didn't give up a first-period goal," Condon said.

McCann scored a power-play goal at 17:54, one second after the first penalty expired in Brendan Gallagher's double minor for high-sticking Sedin.

"We've been together for a little bit, especially the core group of guys, and we're pretty honest with each other," Pacioretty said. "I think that's the most important thing, that you can look in the mirror and say you did a good job, and I don't think anyone could have done that after the first period."

Daniel Sedin, whose nose was bloodied after Gallagher's stick hit him in the face, made it 3-0 with his sixth goal at 3:17 of the second period. A video review was necessary to determine the puck went past Condon and lodged between the mesh and the rear bar inside the net.

Eller scored a shorthanded goal at 8:40 of the second period before Pacioretty cut the lead to 3-2 with his ninth goal at 10:53.

"We made a mistake, it cost us, but we're up 3-1, we've got to keep going," Sedin said. "When we survived the second period there I thought we played pretty good in the third. They didn't have much, I think, until they got the goal there."

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